18 June 2017

Happy Father's Day to Joe Costello -- Mantle Cell Lymphoma Survivor


It's great to be back on OWG blog, Carrie, and I want to thank you for inviting me back. The Last time I was here, I shared about my husband, Joe's, battle with Mantle Cell, a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Today I’d like to share what it is like after the chemo and the words remission. When we first heard those magical words a weight lifted off our shoulders and each day was like a new lease on life. But every four months we have to return to MD Anderson for PET/CT scans and that reminds us that the doctors aren’t so sure this cancer will never return.

God healed Joe—he just used MD Anderson to do it. So when we return every 4 months for those rechecks Satan wants us to live in fear that the mantle cell has returned. He wants to rob us of the joy and assurance the Lord has given us. It’s hard sometimes not to look over your shoulder to see what is there, but God wants us to look up rather than back.

So how does one go on after beating a cancer like MCL? Joe and I have found that keeping our eyes focused ahead of us and on God keeps us putting one foot in front of the other.  It’s been a year this month that Joe was declared cancer free.  When we walk out of MDA with the new results it is always a positive feeling. And the next three or so months we continue on with our normal life which is always busy.

But as the weeks creep by to the next four month checkup, there is Satan whispering fear and negativity into our ears. I am the one who sees a glass half-full and Joe is the realist. LOL! His words. Mine are more like pessimist. We agree to disagree on that title. So I expect him to worry but not me! No, I am the positive one. I’m not supposed to have these doubts.  However, try as I may to keep my faith and not let fear get a foothold, many times it does.

Like countless other things on this journey, God had already put things in place, this time a scripture to cling to when my faith waivered.  Several years ago our pastor chose Mark 9:24 for our verse that year. Many of the sermons throughout the following months tied in to that verse. Mark 9:24 is a short verse and reads, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”


It’s a reminder to me that though God wants us to have faith and trust Him, He recognizes that we are human and at times our faith is going to waiver. For those times He has given us a verse to cling to. It’s a verse that shouts out to us that God wants to help us when we face hard situations where our faith wanes.

Bio:
Debbie Lynne Costello has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina. She has worked in many capacities in her church and is currently the Children's Director. Debbie Lynne has shown and raised Shetland Sheepdogs for eighteen years and still enjoys litters now and then. In their spare time, she and her husband take pleasure in camping and riding their Arabian and Tennessee Walking horses.

Debbie Lynne's latest book:

Media links For Debbie Lynne:

Amazon Author page

GIVEAWAY: We're so glad Debbie Lynne's husband, Joe Costello, is overcoming Mantle Cell Lymphoma! Happy Father's Day to Joe! We're giving away a copy of Debbie Lynne's latest book which is also available in this collection! Leave a prayer for Joe to enter!


27 comments:

  1. Father God you are so faithful. Thank you for honoring Joe on Father's Day, who is a wonderful father in many senses of the word. He is faithful to his wife and children and grandchildren, he is faithful to his church family, he is faithful to his friends, and We bless him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ with health, hope, faith, courage, and strength. Lord we also pray that this precious couple have many years ahead of them together to fulfill all that you've laid in their hearts to do. Thank you for these dear godly friends in Jesus name amen!

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    1. AMEN! Thank you for those blessings on Joe, Kathy. He has been such a wonderful husband, father, and example. Your prayers through all these years have meant so much to us. You have no idea how your prayers and encouragement helped through those dark days. Love you dearly, my friend!

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  2. Thanks for your beautiful post, Debbie!! I'm so glad God has healed Joe and also know how easy it is to let doubts creep in when checkup times near. You have been such a help and inspiration to me with my own cancer battle - thank you so much!! You and Joe have been on my prayer list since his diagnosis. I can't wait for the opportunity to read "Sword of the Matchmaker".

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    1. Bonnie!!!! Sweet lady! I know you have been and continue to fight your own battle and I just can't thank you enough for your prayers for us while you fight your own battle. You are so self-sacrificing. You remain in my prayers. I pray God will increase your energy so you're able to do what things you need and want to do. And I pray that He heals you! Doctors know the science behind it but God MADE the science! He can do all things! Love you dear lady. And I can't wait for you to read Sword of the Matchmaker!!

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  3. What a beautiful post! God blesses us richly and God is so good. Prayers have been said, prayers have been answered, and prayers will continue to be said for Joe and for you.

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    1. Thank you, Melanie. That means so much to me. Joe and I have learned through this just how important it is to have friends who will pray for us! God is good and has given us so many friends who constantly lift us up. Thank you for coming by and encouraging me. :o)

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  4. Happy Father's Day, Joe! May the Lord continue to richly bless you and your family!

    Debbie Lynne, you are an incredible woman of the Lord! ((((HUGS))))

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    1. Awe, thank you, Caryl. I have to say I don't feel like it! I just feel so blessed that God has given me so many friends, many I have not met in person, who consistently lift us up to the Lord. You, my friend, have been so faithful in praying for us and in helping me get the word out about my books. I thank you for doing that. I would love to meet you on one of these trips to Houston! How far are you from there?

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    2. Congrats Caryl Kane you have won a copy of Debbie Lynne Costello's new release!

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  5. Lord Jesus, we give You praise for healing your servant. We humbly ask that You continue to pour great health into Joe's body and peace into both Joe and Debbie's hearts. We declare today that Joe 'will not die, but live and proclaim what God has done!'

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    1. Amen and AMEN! Thank you, Susan! What a powerful prayer. I can't thank you enough!!! God bless you!

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  6. Lord, we thank you for healing Joe and helping both Joe and Debbie to continue looking forward when whispers start to creep up on them. Continue to bless them on this journey for continual remission.

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    1. Amen, Andrea. Thank you. YES continual remission! HEALING! I'm so glad God understands our weakness and makes provisions for them! God is good!!!

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  7. Prayers for healing. Praise God we know the Great Physician!

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    1. Amen, Emilee! We know Him well and have seen the miracles He has done, He's healed the blind, the sick, the demon possessed. He's brought men back to life and children back to life. Healing Joe is not a problem for him, Thank you, Lord!

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  8. God bless you and Joe,Debbie Lynne! Thank you for this inspirational post. I pray that God will keep Joe cancer free and take away any worries that may whisper in your mind. Thanks also for your generous giveaway. :)

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    1. Hey Lynne!!! Thank you for your prayers! We covet the prayers. They mean so much! Good luck in the giveaway! I really appreciate you coming by!

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  9. Father I thank you for your words that brings us comfort in the good times as well as the bad times. You are always there before us and beside us. We are never alone when we are going through trials. You were not surprised by these things. Father you know the comfort and security survivors feel when they are in active treatment. We know that the cancer is actively being control. It is when treatment is over that we discover another way our faith is tested. We hear No Evidence of cancer and are happy but then we get anxious near the times of our scans. Only you Lord can give us the peace that transcends all understanding. I pray for Joe and all I those who are living with chronic disease trust in you and your plan for their lives. Help us to trust that you know what is happening and help us to get a spiritual perspective on our life on earth. It is not easy because we are attached to this place. Help us to fix our eyes on you and long to be with you are. I thank you for understanding our human frailty and still working within and through us for your glory. In Jesus' name Amen

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    1. Amen!!! Sonnetta, Thank you for such a beautiful prayer! You sound as if you are personally familiar with this type of battle yourself. God has been so good hearing and answering the prayers of His saints! God bless you!

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  10. DL Jeff and I are so happy prayers have been answered! We will keep lifting you and Joe up in prayers! God is good!

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    1. Thank you, Carrie! I appreciate you and your husband's prayers. Yes, God is good ALL the time! I am so blessed He has healed Joe. Thank you again for having me on your blog!

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  11. Praising with you that Joe is once again considered cancer free. Praying for peace for both of you and continued healing for Joe! God IS good!

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    1. Hey Betti! Thank you for coming by. I am so blessed by all these well wishes and prayers.

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  12. Dear Lord, I have prayed for healing for my friend Donna for many months now and I have also prayed for her peace of mind and her continued trust in You. Now I lift Debbie's husband Joe in prayer also. May he and Debbie enjoy many more healthy years together. Amen!
    Connie
    cps1950 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Thank you so much for your prayer, Connie. Every prayer means so much. Thank you for your months of prayers! God bless you!

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  13. Praising God for the victory Joe has received!

    Thank you, Lord, for walking beside us through every trial of life, and sometimes carrying us when we have no strength to go on. You are faithful to sustain us, no matter the outcome.

    xoxo Debbie Lynne!!!

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    1. Amen! He is so faithful. And we are so blessed because of it! God is good--All the time!

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